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Schools of choice bill to be introduced

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – The state Senate is expected to introduce a package of controversial education reforms this week. Governor Rick Snyder called for many of the expected proposals. They could include more charter schools and schools of choice.

Peter Spadafor with the Michigan Association of School Boards says more charter schools and schools of choice do not necessarily mean better schools. He says lawmakers should look at what's working in education and expand on those methods.

"We think the Legislature should be making reform decisions based on research and using data to drive their decisions, and not just the reform-de-jour," Spadafor.

Spadafor says the problem with expanding the schools-of-choice program statewide could mean children in low-income families in struggling school districts are left behind.

It has also been reported that one of the proposals in the package could be to allow school districts to hire teachers through private companies. Some school and teacher lobbyists view the expected proposals as a Republican attack on teachers unions. The Republican sponsor of the education reform package did not return requests for comment.

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